It seems like almost every health condition out there can be improved, to a certain extent, if you cut out some of your favorite dietary treats. Of course it’s always the stuff you really enjoy that turns out to be the stuff that’s really bad for you.
For several conditions where dietary changes make a difference, one of the culprits is coffee. Coffee is fairly acidic, which makes it difficult for some people to stomach, even if they don’t have a medical condition exacerbated by this specific beverage.
For people who regularly have heartburn (including acid-reflux or Barrett’s esophagus) or suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), interstitial cystitis (IC), or any other condition where too much dietary acid worsens your symptoms, coffee is generally considered off-limits.
In some cases, it’s the caffeine content, in addition to the acidity – in the case of IBS, caffeine acts as a stimulant to your intestinal tract, causing it to misfire and resulting in increased symptoms. For people with IC, caffeine as well as acids irritate the bladder lining and increases symptoms of pain and urgency.
Most people really don’t want to give up their daily brew. So the java market has answered, coming up with various alternates to coffee, some of which have been around for years, and others are being newly-marketed to people as our intake of medications for indigestion (Tums, Rolaids) and acid-inhibitors (Pepcid, Tagamet) keeps rising.
Current low-acid coffee roasters include Puroast, Folgers “Simply Smooth”, JAVAcid, and Trader Joe’s French Roast Low Acid, among others. This marketing category is actually heating up, with a recent press release from Puroast denouncing Folger’s low-acid claims. While the battle of the low-acid coffee producers may not seem that important to you in the long run, the fact there is a face-off going on means coffee roasters have deemed low-acid coffee something worth fighting over, so expect to see more brands and a greater variety on your grocery shelves in the future.